Harper's Bazaar Arabia intern Rand Zeid attended her first ever Fashion Forward this year. We asked her to make notes on everything she learned – and it turns out that it’s a list we could all do with applying to everyday life. Here’s what you need to know, via the eyes of a newbie…
Left: Rand Zeid, Harper's Bazaar Arabia intern sitting on the FROW
1. “Run the day or the day runs you!”
At Fashion Forward (FFWD) when they say that you have to start queuing 15-20 minutes before each show, they mean it. Being on time gets you a better seat – and it's something that more people should apply to everyday life. Have your schedule on your phone and remember the saying, “the early bird catches the worm.”
2. “You are never overdressed or overeducated.”
Fashion is all about trying new trends and getting out of your comfort zone. At FFWD you only stand out if you’re different, so it’s a great time to try something new – afterwards, I came away wondering why I'm not that “extra” every day. Remember, nothing looks as good as confidence.
3. For Instagram, daylight is key
The Dubai Design District is home to some of the coolest Instagram-worthy backgrounds. Whether it’s your outfit or the art installations around the district, there are no shortage of opportunities to grab a quick picture. Top tip – street style pictures always look best in the daylight, so between 10am and 5pm get outside and watch the likes roll in.
4. Disconnect to connect
Even though FFWD is a social media hub, it’s important to put your phone down and engage with the interesting minds attending the event. Whether they are students, bloggers, or designers, the key is to create relationships that could come in handy one day. This is a lesson I will keep up throughout the year – putting away my iPhone and shaking hands.
5. Always carry a portable charger
Even more important than the perfect accessory, is the portable charger! It’s an absolute nightmare when you can’t snap pictures of the runway shows or even worse, your outfit. A portable charger will always ensure you’re the most organised, stress-free person in every room.
6. Food, food, oh and food
Never underestimate the importance of eating a good meal. I made time in my busy schedule to pop into our very own Bazaar Café in Dubai Design District regularly. Whether I needed an iced vanilla latte to stay awake, or a lamb shank cooked to perfection to stop the hunger, Bazaar Café had my back throughout the entire weekend. Let’s face it – you can’t put your best foot forward unless you have a full stomach.
7. Pop-ups are always a good idea
I attended all the stylish pop-ups in between shows and talks. The Modist will remain open for another two weeks, rotating their selection of items so make sure to pass by. Coterique brought its online platform to life with a curation of their finest brands. Sauce X Shoestova collaborated on a limited edition collection, so make sure to get your hands on some of the pieces.
Also in the Garden, I noticed the collections of Hiba Jaber, a jeweller creating personalised rings in Arabic and English letters, as well as the talented Fashion Pirate selling her outstanding collection. Anytime you ever see a pop-up shop anywhere, you can be sure that you’ll find something pretty special!
8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We are all well aware of Dubai’s warm and humid weather but I often forget to stay hydrated during these busy days. Evian collaborated with the world-renowned fashion blogger Chiara Ferrangi to have everyone covered this weekend. Bottles decorated with Chiara’s famous eye logo were being sold at every corner of the event. Staying hydrated is not only great for your skin, it’s also a good energy boost when your eyes are starting to feel heavy.
9. Fashion Future is exciting
The Fashion Future hall was inspiring to me in so many ways. Talented students from all around the world displayed their incredible graduation collections. Each upcoming designer was completely unique to the other. I look forward to seeing these future designers take the stage next season.
10. There’s always room to learn
Whether it’s a lesson in talent from around the region, with performances from the likes of local singer Layla Kardan, or an inspiring fashion talk by designer Mary Krantanzou, everyone on the Bazaar team learned something. The talks are a great way to gain some industry knowledge, and no matter what point you’re at with your career, you can always make time to discover something new.
For the most memorable moments from the past three days, check our galleries.